Black: Solar a smart investment in the future
Ryan Summerlin August 20, 2013
Investing in alternative energies benefits your bills, your health, your community, your country, and the world. Solar panels are an altruistic investment.
Considering solar panels as an eyesore puts value in aesthetics; falling under the concept of natural capital means nature holds economic value in its current state. Whether that value is for aesthetics or ecosystem services like purifying water, shelters, carbon sequestration, etc…
Please then consider the much larger impact the construction of the homes had on the wetlands. Or the effects from the fence separating Summit Cove from Keystone Ranch? The fence and homes have directly changed migration patterns for wildlife. A fence around the solar farm has no greater effect on the environment than a fence in your backyard.
The solar farm is developed by a private company, which means the school district doesn’t have to ask the homeowners for the upfront cost estimated around $63,970.82 for the four locations — Summit Cove being the largest. In the first year the district would save over $11,000; within twenty years saving more than $800,000. The developer maintains, repairs, and replaces any issues with no higher cost to the district. Yet the solar farm could pay for itself in a decade or so.
Taxpayers will reap the energy saving benefits while reallocating the savings back into the education system without increasing taxes. That may mean better pay for teachers or the longevity of extracurricular activities. Think of the benefits these solar panels create for the students without upping taxes.
The education system has the biggest potential on our future generations. With the solar farm, these students can learn sustainability, see how easy it is to make a change for the better, and reduce our usage — a change against consumption and for preservation.
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